Closing the Deal on Opening Day: How to Lead a Winning Team

Real Estate Technology with SmartZip

Opening day for Major League Baseball is just behind us, and it’s left us wondering how the typical agent manages the players they use to get to the closing table.

Creating a team of preferred vendors is important — it can affect not only the service that your clients receive but also the number of referrals you receive in a year. Below, we discuss how to build a team of professionals who best fit your client’s needs every time.


The Pitcher: That's you!
We hate to break it to you, but unless you work on a team of true equals, you’re the opener, the relief and the closer. The pressure is on from start to finish — but that’s alright because you also get the win or the save when the deal closes. (We’re talking about the commission check. Was that clear?)


Catcher: Your broker
Plays at home happen are pretty rare, but when they occur you need to have a solid, supportive catcher to rely on. New pitchers typically test out a few catchers before settling on the one who best fits their style and personality. Why should agents like you follow suit? Your broker is your everyday go-to, but they’re also responsible for any major liabilities that happen in the field.

If you ever feel like you’re not fully supported by your broker, or you see another catcher who looks more your style, it’s okay to make a change. Winning in the long-term is only possible when the pitcher and catcher trust each other implicitly.


1st Base: The inspector
The player at first is typically solid and reliable, and for the most part, they have but one task — to catch the ball. When hiring an inspector before you list a home, you want to be sure that person is hyper-focused on catching any issues and defects that may be plaguing the home (and could affect the final sales price of the property).

That means your first basemen — er, inspector — needs to have a long history of catching issues before they become a problem and very few, if any, errors in the field.


2nd base: Insurance provider
Whether they’re acting as the cutoff man or turning a double, the second baseman usually doesn’t have the ball for very long. Their job is to keep the ball moving… and that’s exactly what your homeowner’s insurance provider should do.

It’s a fast-moving world out there, so be sure to find an insurance vendor (or vendors) who work quickly and never hold up the deal. And we’ll be frank — that means that if your insurance provider works via fax instead of email, it’s time to draft a new one.


Shortstop: Title closer
The shortshop sees more action than anyone else on the field. So while you may not picture Derek Jeter when you walk into your closing office, you should. Let’s look at what these talented professionals do every day:
Deftly handle mountains of paperwork
Catch issues and send them to the right “fixer”
Close off any problems that are holding up the play
Send you to the closing table for the win

And for the most part, title closers don’t complain. They’re workhorses and when they get hit a line drive out of nowhere, they catch it, and hand it off to the right contact to minimize the damage.


Third base: Attorney
Offense is more fun to watch, but it’s often said that defense is what wins games… and the best defense is often found at third base.

If any issues are found in the title work, you may need to bring in a lawyer who can help your seller untangle from legal issues to keep the sale moving. Distressed properties may also need the specialized work of an attorney who can keep the ball in play, regardless of problems that arise.


Right field: Home specialist — Landscaping, cleaning crew, painters, contractors
The ball is hit to right field the least often, but once you’re in the pros, the right fielder has to have the strongest arm in the game. In real estate, your right fielder may change out with the most frequency; you’ll put in whoever it takes to make an unexpected play.

If a yard is struggling after a long winter (or decades of minimal upkeep), the biggest advantage you can offer is a landscaper who can provide the curb appeal that will make the property stand out in person and online.

If you’re selling a hopelessly outdated house, you may consult with a contractor to see if there are easy, inexpensive fixes you can make to give the house the charm it needs to sell.

If the sellers’ kids selected a hot pink or neon orange room color, or they were fond of Birds of Paradise wallpaper, then your right fielder is a painting crew that knows how to neutralize any room.

The most unsung hero of all, when it comes to right field specialists, is the cleaning crew. If you don’t trust your sellers to do it right, bringing in a team of cleaners will end up being worth a major league salary.


Center field: Photographer
We can’t imagine that you’ll disagree about photographers playing center field. They are often the hero of the day. The ones who help your listings shine. The ones who creates the most cheers and smiles from excited buyers.

Center fielders also pack the stands with their star power — just think about how baseball lore would differ if it weren’t for Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays and more recently, Johnny Damon and Ichiro Suzuki. What we’re trying to say is, if you want a packed (open) house, there’s no vendor more important than a truly talented listing photographer.


Left field: Stager
Like left fielders, stagers are challenged with situational plays that can impact the game in immense ways. Whether it’s finding the right not-too-outdated decor for an historic home or making the choice to stage that extra room as a home office instead of a nursery, stagers draw out the best in the home and make fast, important plays that set the team up for future success.

You build the team. Predictive analytics does the scouting.
If you’re busy building the right team for any client, who’s out there scouting on your behalf? When you work with SmartZip, you’ll gain access to the homeowners who are scientifically most likely to sell in the next 6-12 months.

You can use our automated marketing platform to drive home your brand, then win them over by talking up the incredible team of specialists you’ve built for them.


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Mick Michaud
Distinctly Texas Lifestyle Properties, LLC Office:682/498-3107 - Granbury, TX
Your Texas Lifestyle is Here!

Great analogy.  Seems a mortgage officer who knows their stuff would be a helpful member. 

Apr 10, 2017 07:05 AM #1
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Thanks for clearly showing how the "Team" we have must work together to get the win for the consumer.

Many people do not realize how important having the right "Team" is.

Apr 11, 2017 07:41 AM #2
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